HMS Trepassey (1779)
|Name:||Wild Cat, or 'Wildcat|
|Owner:||John Fisk et al. of Salem, Massachusetts|
|Launched:||c.22 May 1779|
|Commissioned:||22 May 1779|
|Fate:||Captured 14 July 1779|
|Acquired:||1779 by purchase post capture|
|Acquired:||By purchase post capture on 17 May 1781|
|Fate:||Captured 3 November 1782|
|Acquired:||1782 by capture|
|General characteristics |
|Tons burthen:||341 56⁄94 (bm)|
|Length:||95 ft 4 in (29.1 m) (deck)|
|Beam:||26 ft 0 in (7.9 m)|
|Depth of hold:||26 ft 0 in (7.9 m)|
HMS Trepassey, often spelled "Trepassy", was a 14-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, formerly the American privateer Wildcat, launched and captured in 1779. The Royal Navy purchased her in 1779. USS Alliance captured Trepassey in 1781. She became the American merchant vessel Defence. In 1782 HMS Jason captured Defense, which the Royal Navy took back into service under her earlier name. The Navy sold her in 1784.
Wild Cat sailed under the command of David Ropes. She captured two British vessels in June or July: the 120-ton (bm) brigantine Mercury, Jonathan Lovgrove, master, and the 160-ton (bm) ship Ocean, Christopher Dunon, master.
On 14 July 1779, Wildcat encountered and gave chase to the schooner HMS Egmont. Egmont, under the command of Lieutenant John Gardiner, attempted to escape from Wildcat but was forced to strike after having lost two men killed, one of them by the boarding party from Wildcat.
On 16 July, HMS Surprise was able to capture Wildcat. Surprise was able to free Lieutenant Gardiner and 20 of his men from Egmont who were aboard Wildcat, but the schooner herself had separated during the chase that preceded Wildcat's capture. The Royal Navy took Wildcat into service as Trepassey.
On 6 August 1779 Henry Edward Stanhope was promoted to Master and Commander of Trepassey at Newfoundland. He left during the autumn of 1780 and his successor was James Smyth, who took command in September.
Barry repaired Trepassey, disarmed her, and sent her as a cartel to Halifax under the direction of her master, Phillip Windsor. After she had delivered the prisoners on board she returned to Boston, Massachusetts.
HMS Jason recaptured Defence on 3 November 1792. Defence was libelled on 11 November. His Majesty's Naval Storekeeper claimed her as the Trepassey, sloop of war. The Vice admiralty court in Halifax, Nova Scotia, awarded the cargo, which had been proven American property, to the captors, and also one-eight of the value of Defence.
Commander Francis Cole commissioned Trepassey in September 1782. On 8 February 1784 she arrived at Plymouth, and then on 1 March she arrived at Deptford where she was paid off.
The Navy sold Trepassey on 29 April 1784 for £735.
Citations and references
- Winfield (2007), p.317.
- Hepper (1994), p. 55.
- "no. 12012". The London Gazette. 7 September 1779. p. 4.
- Naval Chronicle, Vol. 15, pp.95-6.
- "no. 12212". The London Gazette. 31 July 1781. pp. 4–5.
- Burke (1800), Vol. 24, p.254-5.
- "no. 12522". The London Gazette. 24 February 1784. p. 6.
- Vice admiralty court (1911), p.20.
- Burke, Edmund (1800) The Annual register of world events: a review of the year, Volume 24. (Longmans, Green).
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Hepper, David J. (1994) British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. (Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot). ISBN 0-948864-30-3
- Vice-Admiralty Court, Halifax (1911) American vessels captured by the British during the revolution and war of 1812. (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute).
- Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1.